Investigators are trying to find out whether a Florida student accused of murder and biting off a man's face while growling like an animal was under the influence of drugs.
While drugs tests so far indicate 19-year-old Florida State University student Austin Kelly Harrouff was not on cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana or opiates, authorities will now test him for flakka and bath salts, the Daily Mail reports.
"I’m not going to speculate, except to say that we know in our business that people on flakka or bath salts will do this type of behavior, where they attack the victim and do the biting and actually remove pieces of flesh in the bites," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.
Only a few hours before the Aug. 15 attack, Harrouff was having a meal with his parents, who say he left the meal early in an agitated state. Concerned, they contacted his fraternity brothers and the police.
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Harrouff is accused of stabbing a couple -- Michelle Mishcon Stevens, 53, and John Joseph Stevens III, 59 -- to death in their home near Jupiter, Florida. Police first thought the student and the couple were acquaintances, but later said Harrouff did not know his alleged victims.
Neighbor Jeff Fisher, 47, who was also stabbed while trying to help, called police after hearing screams.
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Law enforcement officials reportedly found the teenager on the driveway, biting and tearing off pieces of the husband while making animal noises.
It reportedly took four police officers, a dog bite and repeated stun gun use to throw Harrouff -- a muscular former high school wrestler and football player -- off the victim.
"The suspect in this case was abnormally strong," Snyder said. "So getting that excited delirium type increased adrenaline strength."
As of Aug.16, Harrouff was sedated in hospital while authorities investigate the case. His condition had deteriorated and he had intestinal problems, reports TC Palm.
People who know Harrouff, a rising sophomore who studied exercise science, are perplexed why he would commit such a vicious attack.
"He seemed like a pretty normal kid," Joey Bashwiner, 19, who attended both college and middle school with Harrouff, said, TC Palm reports. "Nothing wrong, just quiet."
“When I saw it was a kid I went to middle school with, he was in my class, shocking,” Bashwiner added. “You would never expect it."